Disclosure can be one of the more difficult things to do when you are living in stealth. Every waking moment is spent hiding who you are from everyone and this is your primary focus in your day-to-day life. There do, of course, arise moments where the thought of disclosure may cross your mind and it is always a scary idea but in some cases it can be a good thing. Disclosure can also be dangerous especially when it is to a potential partner. Many of my attempts to reveal to people that I am transgender failed, and some in almost humorous ways. Lets look at a couple of my fails.
Candace vs. the Lesbian
She was hot, gay and I was into her more than I should have been considering I was still fairly early into transition and the prospects of starting a relationship with any girl was problematic at best. She was a firecracker and I was pretty reserved back then and despite that I still wanted her and there was attraction going both ways. I always held back just enough to ensure nothing pushed forward. Eventually, I got the courage to make a disclosure attempt as that was the wall between us and the only thing preventing a great thing provided she could get past the fact that I am transgender.
I am normally bold but when it comes to love I tend to be very cautious and disclosure adds even more caution to the mix. I needed to find out how this girl felt about transgender people before I put it all out there so I casually mentioned a made-up transgender girl who I claimed that I ran into. It was the right catalyst as she went on a tirade almost immediately. She was not a fan, she was in fact very transphobic which broke my heart but at least I was able to pull the brakes on my disclosure. She then asked me about my opinions on transgender people and I knew if I took a pro transgender stance it was going to put my stealth in jeopardy.
I didn’t want to say something transphobic and yet I also didn’t want to sound too pro trans. The only solution was to back out of the topic with jokes. I can joke my way out of most things.
“There could be an up, and not just in her pants. Seriously, I mean, you would be the only one who gets a free bitch pass once a month…”
There was a boy I knew early into my transition who I was attracted to though it was odd as I knew I liked girls but yet there was something about him that drew me in. I had no intentions of starting a relationship but I did let it develop into a friendship and I found that I wanted to actually tell him the truth about myself as having an ally would be nice. It can be tiresome always hiding your secret and allies where sometimes the only people you could gleam strength from to keep everything running in the stealthy status quo.
I had all but decided to tell him about me when he confessed something to me that changed everything. He was transgender and had plans to transition in the future. This was not where I expected it to go and I handled it badly. I pretty much backed off almost too quickly as she (respecting the revelation) became a threat to my stealth. Today I am ashamed of how I handled it but stealth was everything to me and the protection of it cost me this friend and she probably thinks that her revelation that she is transgender is what made me run. She is correct but just not for the reasons she probably struggled with. I was such a bitch.
Living today, I am completely out and it is a huge relief. All the energy I used only to have scenarios like the ones above pop up from time to time was immense. Stealth has cost me friends and has resulted in me hurting people in the name of my own protection. A good part of the mission is awareness and education. A smaller part is atonement for the people my stealth hurt along the way. I can never undo what I have done but I can live the future in my truth and let that truth provide a light on the road for those struggling to find their way.